Monday, July 30, 2012

A night out

After work, on Friday, I volunteered at an event called "Bike Prom." It's a fundraiser for the local bicycle advocacy group and the kind of event that appeals to me, but that I have no one to attend with. Going alone is too much for me, but volunteering seemed like the right approach. I got there early and did my bit. It was a bit tiring--mostly from dealing with some obnoxious people--but fun overall. Most folks were super nice and friendly. Of course, I also had a not-so-secret agenda, and I tired to work that angle most of the night. The crowd wasn't great for my purposes, since most people came with groups or in couples, but I'd say I had three "hits." One fellow was super attractive and talked to me several times outside of the volunteer context--but he was with his girlfriend. I don't envy her since he was so openly flirting with me, but what can you do? I didn't push it because, ick, but, still, score a few points on the flattery meter.

The second guy was another volunteer. He was working after I was, but I went to talk to him. He asked me if I were staying for "break down." I think that was my opening...but since they were going to break down after 1am, I had to say no. I didn't follow-up.

The third was a fellow I saw in one of my many circuits of the dance floor. I was longing to dance but I guess I am old fashioned because I am not comfortable dancing by myself in the middle (or even on the edge of) a crowd. This fellow was dancing by himself. He caught sight of me standing on the edge of the crowd and gestured for me to join him, which I did. We had quite a good time dancing...then he wanted to get a drink, a breath of air, you know the drill! Anyway, we did talk, we took a short walk down the block and back. He was a super nice guy, asked me a lot of questions and I didn't really reciprocate, but I got most of his story eventually (firefighter, widower, two grown (college-age) kids, older than me (duh!), lives far away).  If we'd actually exchanged information, and he called me, I would certainly go out with him. But we didn't exchange info, there was no "click," and, yes, I am kind of an idiot.

After all of that, I felt a bit dissatisfied. I rode home a bit after midnight and decided that one drink at the local bar was in order. I'd only had one drink at the bike prom, so this seemed reasonable. I joined a small group at the bar shortly before 1am. I think the last time I was out at a bar so late was on New Year's--and, in fact, I recognized a woman I met that night. She was sloppy drunk and ranting about how the neighborhood was done with her and she was leaving to make room for new people. She was with her husband (I remembered him too, but not as clearly), and her rant was directed at two men, who seemed to be a couple. On the other end of the bar were a handful of more quiet people. I sat nearer the lively group, but the woman didn't remember me and I stayed out of the conversation. Pretty soon, a couple of young guys showed up on sat on my right side--between me and the quiet people. Eventually, I struck up a conversation with them, which was interesting but took a political turn. One of the fellows to my left seemed to take offense at this and his solution was to buy everyone shots (drink #3).  Then when he left, he gave us his mostly untouched beer, which I split with one of my new friends (drink #4). Before the bar was even closing, I'd invited the young guys over to my house. The one without a girlfriend took me up on my offer.  We were very drunk and enjoyable, low-stakes, fumbling ensued.

We'll count the evening as a win, shall we?

Grateful for: a poorly executed but ultimately successful plan.


  1. Win, definitely! Also I like your descriptions of bar culture, something I know zero about (with the exception of watching Cheers, which is probably not very accurate).

  2. Me: your comment leaves me with so many questions. Do you not live in the US? Have you just never been to a bar? I think some bars can be sort of like Cheers, but the group includes at least one, if not more alcoholics (remember my stories about Kansas? he was in a group like that--and he was the alcoholic, but maybe not the only one). Anyway, bar "culture" at closing time is a lot different than when I usually go, which is right after work. Closing time is a much better if you are, ahem, on a "man hunt."

  3. I'm very impressed. Also, I'm going to make "enjoyable low-stakes fumbling ensued" a regular part of my vocabulary. Perhaps just a question when somebody feels their evening could have worked out better--"well, did enjoyable low-stakes fumbling ensure, at least?"

  4. No, I'm not from the US. I had to check back to remind myself of Kansas, it was 5 years ago! As for me, I have been to bars, but probably only once a year and definitely never gone to a bar and just sat there talking to strangers, I must do that some time!

  5. Amanda--expanding descriptions of random encounters with men since 2012. :)

    Me--I think bar/pub culture is more friendly, mellow in the UK, but it can be pretty friendly in the US too. I'm not a huge bar person (since I usually only like to have one drink!), but it can be a place to meet people and sometimes they're even nice people. Unfortunately, if you meet someone who is a true regular, the odds are high that they're an alcoholic. In the US, having an early evening meal at a bar is a fine way to end up talking to people.

    1. What happened with the third guy? Why didn't it 'click?'

    2. (I originally answered this about the 4th guy--I deleted that and now I will try again.)

      Why didn't it click? I don't know. We didn't actually talk for very long, maybe 1/2 an hour. He was in a big rush to get home (I wasn't offended) and neither of us tried very hard to get contact information. If you don't even bother to exchange numbers, it usually means there's not enough interest...but who knows? If he'd figured out a way to write down my number, I would have given it to him.


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